Benefits of Using Engineered Quartz or Man-Made Quartz Man-made quartz has become an extremely popular interior stone option among designers, contractors, and more in recent years. Specifically, quartz refers to a man-made stone option that is typically composed of about 90-97% natural quartz that is mixed with a resin and pigment to create a unique look. There are many different brands of man-made quartz on the market, each offering different colors and styles to help you achieve your ideal look. Some of the major brands include Silestone, Caesarstone, Pental Quartz, Alleanza, Polarstone, Cambria, and Aurea. Benefits of Engineered Quartz or Man-Made Quartz for Commercial Applications and More Engineered quartz or man-made quartz are very popular options for both kitchen and bathroom countertops. However, they have also become THE countertop choice for university or office cafeterias, commercial applications, medical buildings, office buildings, and more – and for a number of good reasons. For starters, man-made quartz is extremely durable and can hold up to a lot of different activities. Unlike some natural stones, it will not easily etch when exposed to common household items such as lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, wine, or other acids. Man-made quartz is very stain-resistant so spilling a bit of red wine on a white quartz countertop should not result in staining. Overall, man-made quartz is an essentially maintenance-free option that is appealing to a lot of contractors, builders, developers, and homeowners that don’t want to deal with the maintenance headaches that come along with other stone options. It can also easily be cleaned up with a swipe of a cloth if dirt and grime are brought in. In addition, engineered quartz is very resistant to scratching, staining, and other surface damage due to its hardness. So, it can hold up in high-traffic areas like hallways and kitchens, will work well on walls, and can even be used as flooring without etching or damaging. While engineered quartz countertops are resistant to staining, some clients find that using a special sealer formulated for engineered quartz helps with the daily clean and care of the countertop. In particular, engineered stones with a concrete look, honed finish, or those that are lighter in color, benefit from this sealer. Because engineered quartz and quartz are both man-made, another huge benefit of opting for either is the fact that there are plenty of options for customization. You can find man-made or engineered quartz in just about any color or style imaginable, so it’s easy to coordinate with any design and any project. What Else Do You Need to Know? If you’re considering man-made quartz or engineered quartz for a project that requires kitchen or bathroom countertops, one thing to keep in mind is the potential size limitation. Like any stone, slabs can only be made so big—so if you’re looking to have an especially large countertop or island surface made, it may be necessary to piece more than one slab together and use a “seam.” This seam can be more noticeable on plain or solid-colored quartz surfaces. Generally, engineered slabs vary by brand. The majority of standard size slabs are approximately 55-56”x120”. Due to the demand for larger slab counters or an island, for example, manufacturers do produce jumbo slabs in select colors. Jumbo slabs typically run approximately 63”x128”. The industry recognizes the need for larger slabs but there are issues with manufacturing, shipping, fabricating, and installing larger materials. The good news is that if a seam is necessary, it can be set tight with color matched epoxy for the best look. Manufacturers have also seen a high-demand for thinner slabs. Brands like Silestone now offer slabs that come 1.2 cm thick, making them suitable for wall applications, backsplashes, showers, and any wet areas. By opting for a thinner slab, it will help to keep the cost down and allow for an easier installation process. It’s important to note that engineered quartz is not recommended for exterior applications in New England. Because of the elements (rain, snow, sun, etc.), when exposed, the resin in the product will break down over time. If you have a project that requires natural stone for an exterior application, sintered stones like Dekton or Lapitec are highly recommended. In addition, engineered stone around fireplace facings is not recommended. High heat from a gas or wood burning fireplace can compromise the integrity of the material and lead to failure. The Bottom Line For those looking for a low-maintenance natural stone option that will not easily etch, stain, or scratch, engineered quartz or man-made quartz is an excellent choice. And because both are man-made, it is possible to find either stone option in a wide range of colors and styles to meet any type of interior stone needs. Find out more about engineered quartz, man-made quartz, and our many brand offerings by contacting our team at Connecticut Stone today!